Because there is so much I want to do.
Because I find it hard to shut down.
Because I’m worried I’ll miss out if I don’t do this, read this, learn that.
Because it’s plain uncomfortable being still: “But I could be doing this; but I need to get on with that; but what about that thing I meant to do yesterday?”
And life these days makes it hard to slow down.
Social media is an example.
I love social media (particularly Instagram):
I get to share and build a wonderful pictorial diary, I can keep in touch with my friends, I meet the most amazing people worldwide, I am inspired by art every day and I really feel part of a community.
But, I dislike social media:
– I feel compelled to check it…to keep up. (I gave up reading newspapers when I was 30 because of this same feeling – and here it is again in a different form!).
– I let it fill those small breather moments. Those glipmses of stop: when I’m watching the dinner or waiting a couple of minutes for the washing machine to finish.
– I often think about how a compostion will look or seem on social media before I think of it as a piece of art or a moment in my life. Yuk!
– I don’t like my son seeing me on a phone.
– I often check it early in the morning. I know this isn’t ideal and I’ve been watching it become more of a habit.
– I use it to fill time when I could be r.e.s.t.i.n.g. And who doesn’t need more rest?!
Filling my life with things isn’t positive.
I forget that I have feet on the floor.
My head is full of noise when it comes to bedtime.
Space is vital.
I turn my phone onto ‘airplane mode’ at 8pm – I pick up a book or I revel in silence. I make space for creating. I occasionally leave my phone at home when I go out. I play lego with my son and do nothing else.
But it’s a battle to get me to make that time and I want more.
As this is posting I am on an 8-hour train ride with my husband, Rob, and our son, Gabriel. We are leaving Cornwall for a month and heading to the South East of England. We’ll see family. Rob and I will head to a gorgeous hotel for 2 nights (I won the stay in a competition and we’ll use it to celebrate our 2nd wedding anniversary). Then I’ll escape to Italy for a few days on my own – I miss it so much, the trip is virtually medicinal.
And I’ve decided it’s a great opportunity to have a social media break.
It was not an easy decision to make. And I feel so silly saying that – what am I, an addict?!!
Well, yes, I think I am.
It’s so easy, when you are using it every day, to think that social media is the world. But it’s not.
My world is my husband, my son and my art.
So even though I’ll be creating my way through this time and having wonderful experiences, I’ve decided not to share.
I’m taking a drawing pad, some colours, a notebook and my ‘proper’ camera. I’m going to lean in to those moments when there’s space, when I’d usually be preparing a photo, checking my feed or responding to comments. I’m going to look up, daydream, notice something real, breathe, feel my feet, give thanks and rest.
…I’m sure I’ll be talking about it when we return to Cornwall in September.
Until then, enjoy these few photographic scenes from my studio this past month.